Pinchbeck food giant Greencore leads way on bike light safety

New bike lights for Andrew Kirlew and Emma Pattinson (front). Pictured back are Adam Thomas (left) and Phil Cummings. SG180117-117TW
New bike lights for Andrew Kirlew and Emma Pattinson (front). Pictured back are Adam Thomas (left) and Phil Cummings. SG180117-117TW
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Food giant Greencore is spearheading a road safety move by giving free bike lights to its employees at Pinchbeck.

The idea is the brainchild of the firm’s category buyer, Adam Thomas, who left work one night and saw a colleague wearing dark clothing on a cycle without lights.

Adam spotted the potential danger and decided the firm should step in.

As well as handing out lights, Greencore is educating employees about being more visible on the roads and some have already started wearing high-vis gear to bike to and from work.

General manager Phil Cummings said: “I think it’s a really good initiative from a health and safety point of view because it safeguards our colleagues.”

Lindsay Klatt, who takes care of health and safety at Greencore, said the bike lights are more important than ever now street lights are turned off between midnight and 6am as company employees are cycling to work in darkness before 6am to start early shifts.

Adam spoke to some of the company’s key suppliers to help sponsor the cost of the lights, super-bright LEDs supplied at a discount by Terry Wright Cycles from Deeping St James, and this week the lights are being fitted to employees’ bikes.

Adam said: “I am passionate about it – I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Greencore hopes other firms follow its example.

The company’s free bike lights initiative has won praise from Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership (LRSP).

LRSP spokesman John Siddle said: “Clearly Greencore have seen what is a significant risk to their staff and have done something about it – so well done.”

He says the LRSP itself hands out free bike lights, when stocks are available, but he would like to see more firms follow in Greencore’s footsteps.

Mr Siddle says pedestrians and cyclists are at greater risk if they don’t either carry lights or have lights on their bikes and some of the more rural roads, which don’t have pavements, are a particular problem.

Greencore specialises in cold, side-of-plate salads and employs more than 400 people in Wardentree Lane.

As it’s winter, there’s currently around only 60 employees cycling to work.

Team leader Andrew Kirlew (53), from Pinchbeck, had some free Raleigh lights fitted to his mountain bike at the firm yesterday and gave the scheme the thumbs up.

Emma Pattinson (27) cycles in from the Twin Bridges in Spalding.

Her cycle already has lights but they’re not as bright as the new ones so she was glad to switch.